Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

My account has been locked

If we detect abnormal usage that may indicate that your account has been compromised, we may temporarily disable access. It will take between one minute and 24 hours for access to be reinstated, depending on the behavior detected by our system.

Unusual account activity includes, but is not limited to:

  • Receiving, deleting, or downloading large amounts of mail via POP or IMAP in a short period of time. If you're getting the error message, 'Lockdown in Sector 4,' you should be able to access Gmail again after waiting 24 hours.
  • Sending a large number of undeliverable messages (messages that bounce back).
  • Using file-sharing or file-storage software, or third party software that automatically logs in to your account.
  • Leaving multiple instances of Gmail open.
  • Browser-related issues: If you find your browser continually reloading while attempting to access your Inbox, it's probably a browser issue, and it may be necessary to clear your browser's cache and cookies.
    • If you use Chrome, you should additionally head to chrome://extensions and disable all extensions until the lockouts stop happening. Once the lockouts have stopped, extensions can be enabled one at a time (each day or so) as needed. If another lockout occurs, the most recently enabled extension is most likely the cause. Learn more about managing Chrome extensions.
  • Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

    Was this article helpful?
    Watch video tutorials

    To get the latest tips, tricks, and how-to's, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.